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Schaefft's Bargain Barge Extravaganza - OMGHGF


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More E38 news! The green E38 passed its MOT with flying colors today! In fact it only had one advisory, play in an outer tierod which I'm about to order to have it sorted once it goes up for sale. That means the car just had a cleaner MOT than my 60k one...


Emissions numbers were absolutely perfect as well, putting 5 year old cars to shame. Very happy with that. Some cleaning and paint work left to do and it'll be up for sale soon.

Transport for the newest purchase has been sorted as well now. It should arrive Tuesday evening if everything goes smoothly. I haven't been this excited for a car in a while, can't wait to see it in person! Apparently it has quite an interesting backstory as well, looking foward to learning more about it.

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The Corona was woken from hibernation today for Retro Toyota Day at the Toyota/Lexus Dealer in Carlisle. I don't think it moved since it came back from having its sills sorted last year. The battery was weak, aside from a sticky boot lock I had to free up the car had zero issues making its way rather swiftly there and back again. Naturally nobody, including current and ex Toyota staff, have ever heard of a Corona EXiV before, one of the reasons I brought it.😂


Once back home I tried out my new steam cleaner on the very light (and filthy) interior of the E38. Probably one of the best items you can get to clean ANYTHING, huge time saver, no cleaners needed. Im in love.


Ingrained stains like these are usually an absolute pain to properly get out of the textured plastic. Not anymore, a few seconds with the steamer and a wipe and things look like new:


I honestly never had this much fun cleaning.😂 Money well invested, just the fabrics and leather left now.

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  • Schaefft changed the title to Schaefft's Bargain Barge Extravaganza - Alfa Romeo Arrival

That is fit as fuck. 

You should steal the wooden wheel and gearknob from mine.

I tried to change the air filter on mine last night and every single screw, jubilee clip and connection was fucked or rounded. Apparently this is quite common. 

Curious to see if yours has better gear ratios since you have more power. 1st is incredibly long, 5th is completely pointless.

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17 minutes ago, Jim Bell said:

That looks absolutely filthy. Both physically AND metaphoricly. 

How does it sound?

Very fruity. No clue if thats because of the blown exhaust, an aftermarket backbox or what they just sound like. I dont wanna rev the nuts off it either considering it probably hasnt received an oil change in a while. I'll make sure to upload a video clip once I can though!

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32 minutes ago, Schaefft said:

I've already indicated it in @sdkrc's thread, and here it is: The newest addition to the fleet, my 2000 Alfa Romeo 166 Super with the 3.0L busso, a 6-speed manual and what really was the selling point for me, the ultra rare Aurora Iridescent paintjob only very few of these were specced in (as that paint option was anything but cheap at the time).


The car arrived around noon today, and as is the norm with anything I seem to buy nowadays, was quite in a state. Apparently its been sitting for at least a year, certainly 6 months on the farm of the previous owner, and probably longer before then judging by the MOT expiry date. Naturally there is a reason for that, as the powersteering system is entirely devoid of oil, the alternator does not appear to charge and the exhaust clearly having a hole somewhere around the flex pipe.


This wouldn't be surprising if this car had average mileage for a 23 year old car. However, this example only has 66k miles on the odometer, and appears to have received quite a bit of attention at least at some point in its life (service history indicates new alternator, springs, timing belt, radiator, front brakes and suspension in 2017, only about 8k miles ago).


Issues notwithstanding I already fell in love with the Alfa (as Alfas seem to do). Its a great spec, has potential to be a great car and is already looking bloody amazing after a (not so quick) wash:



The subtle color shift of the paint really doesnt come across in these photos, it really elevates the car to another level for me. Overall its in pretty decent shape and should come out nicely after a clay and polish. The interior does need a clean badly but I absolutely love the Momo sport seats:



What will be the main attraction for most, the mighty Busso. I'm sure theres a gem hiding underneath all the filth.



Even the remote looks pretty for the late 90s:


A few quick take-aways: The lack of trunk opening button on either remote and trunklid is baffling. You'll have to use the key or electronic release in the glovebox.

The doors feel extremely quality when opening and closing. You always think that build quality wasn't a priority with Italian cars, the door action on this is easily on par with my W140 S-Class: 10/10.

The opposite can be said about the key, which is falling apart when using the it to unlock the trunk (its not broken, the hardshell top and bottom just dont seem to be solidly held together.

The car is very low in the front, maybe its the angle I parked it at but the engine bay feels very low to the ground.

I'll clean the interior and start investigating the various issues over the next few days. Fingers cross most of these issues are relatively easily sorted, navigating the car into my drive wasn't the easiest thing without power steering...

Busso ftw.  Not much more satisfying than getting an absolutely filthy car clean.  Good work

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55 minutes ago, sdkrc said:

That is fit as fuck. 

You should steal the wooden wheel and gearknob from mine.

I tried to change the air filter on mine last night and every single screw, jubilee clip and connection was fucked or rounded. Apparently this is quite common. 

Curious to see if yours has better gear ratios since you have more power. 1st is incredibly long, 5th is completely pointless.

I vaguely recall test driving a 2.5V 156 many moons ago and just assumed when I went for sixth the linkage had not been connected in the factory.

Reminded me of going for third gear in a Punto sporting, you go from banging off the limiter in second to near idle in third.

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Lovely colour that, I’ve only ever seen it on a 156 sportwagon.

It must have been fairly well cared for, as by now most of them look really tatty under the bonnet with pitted intake pipes and corroded cam covers, but that one looks good. 

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Thanks everyone, glad I'm not the only person who can see the appeal 😂

Vacuumed the inside today, the interior should clean up nicely. However I have also noticed the insanity that is Alfa's use of the treaded soft touch coatings. And while in most cars the issue is somewhat isolated to specific buttons and trim pieces, here its THE ENTIRE CENTER CONSOLE and lower dash is covered in it😬😬😬 And naturally it's all a grim sticky mess at this point. I'm praying to God that Alfa changed this on the facelift cars or avoided it on cars with a different colored interior. Otherwise there is going to be a lot of cleaning to do.


However there might be some good news as well. I've started cleaning the engine bay today and wanted to check where this power steering leak might have originated. I think I might have found the culprit as the hoses connecting directly to the bottom of the reservoir really have seen better days. I actually wouldn't be surprised if they have suffered when the timing belt was done in 2017 as the reservoir attaches right to the timing belt cover. I'll see if I can order some powersteering fluid and a replacement hose (15 quid used, would prefer new), accessibility for that particular one is surprisingly easy. That drip shield is not original either...


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Had a look underneath it today. Looks like the springs that were fitted are not original ones, they are red so possibly lowering the car a few cm. I'll see if I like them, if not I can get a new OEM set for 200 quid. After filling up the power steering reservoir I took it for a quick lap around the estate, seems to drive fine but it impossible to tell what it'll really feel like on the road. Turns out its just a little over 63k miles, not the 66k advertised, too!

This was also an attempt to see where the leak is really happening. And contrary to my first assumption (probably leaking there as well, just less...) it's a pipe connection on top of the steering rack that doesn't look quite OEM to me...


I'm hoping that I can tighten the connector to stop the leak, its extremely awkward to reach but might at least mean a free fix. No clue why anything there would be replaced the way it has been, I can barely see the hose so god knows.

The exhaust leak around the flexipipe also turned out to just be a gasket at the rear downpipe flange so fingers crossed the rusty bolts will come apart, then it'll be a cheap and straight forward fix. I'll give it a go tomorrow although the gasket will take 2 weeks to arrive.

Which leaves us with the non charging alternator. I still haven't even figured out where it sits due to everything being cramped in there. I'll have to take the wheel and fenderliner off at some point to investigate if something might have come lose. It's been replaced only 5k miles ago so I cannot understand why it would be dead already. This wasn't mentioned in the ad, maybe something that happened while it was standing, indicating a connection issue more than anything else.

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Quick update, the outer tierod for the BMW arrived 2 days ago so this went on the car yesterday, tracking is spot on so one more job ticked off the list. The old one actually came off fairly easily after applying a bit of heat.



If you are interested in purchasing this lovely machine, here's the for sale thread. Don't wait for more significant improvements though, the paint, an oil change and a little more cleaning/polishing will be the limit of what I'm going to invest into it before a sale (unless a future owner wants me to sort a few more things before it goes, for the cost of parts).

The first load of parts for the Alfa arrived today. One of the headlight bulbs was out, fortunately they are easy to reach (not necessarily to be expected from an Alfa) so I gave it a new set of Osrams.



Not sure how hard it'll be to replace this taillight bulb but it didn't seem particulary tricky at a first glance. The "executive" lettering doesnt seem to be OEM so it'll probably go eventually.


I've also got everything needed for an oil change, which isn't only due anyway but also pretty much mandatory as the oil filter probably needs to come out when I remove the powersteering line and/or alternator. The powersteering fluid will need to be changed at that point as well. The exhaust gasket will hopefully be the only thing needed to sort the exhaust leak. With those 3 things sorted the car should be able to pass an MOT.


I've cleaned the engine bay as well, I'll see if I can be bothered to get replacements for some of these engine covers. Despite being straight forward to remove some idiot managed to snap most of the clips holding it all together.


The central locking is another issue that needs to be fixed. The car came with a replacement relay for it, I don't think that this ever was an issue though. Fortunately replacing the relay wasn't particularly hard, Alfa did have an access panel right in front of it:


That didn't fix the problem, neither did replacing the blown central locking fuse. Turns out that the motor/solenoid for the passenger front door is stuck (naturally its integrated into the whole door lock assembly). Depending on whether the lock is open or closed the central locking is cycling to indicate a fault until its giving up after a few times. Since the window lifter motor needs replacing anyway I'll take the door panel off when I get a chance and see if I can free it up, otherwise it'll need a new lock assembly.

I used the opportunity to look for any coolant leaks underneath there as well. 166s are known for their heater cores to leak underneath the dashboard, ruining various control modules. I'm happy to report that there are no leaks in mine!


I've also tested the ICS that controls the radio, climate control and such. Turns out mine wasn't specced with the satnav, not sure if these can be retrofitted, at the same time it would be pretty useless nowadays anyway. The rest works suprisingly intuitively.

Why not end the post with the trash found inside the car. Definitely not the worst result I've had with my purchases recently.


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Spent a bit of time tonight trying to sort the exhaust leak. I say trying as I'm not 100% sure whether the exhaust is blow free now...

I basically replaced the metal gasket between the rear manifold and flex pipe that definitely had a blow coming from it. Im not too surprised by that as someone naturally bodged putting everything back together the last time something had been dealt with in that general area, probably the leaking powersteering hose I'll have to sort next. Naturally random nuts and bolts have been used back then, how could anybody be capable of keeping two of these safe somewhere... Fortunately none of them stripped.


As you can tell Alfa gave you plenty* of space to work with. No wait, it was an absolute pain in the ass to get the pipe to slide off the too long studs, and even more so sliding it back over as the transmission lines are right in the way. I cleaned the mating surfaces with steel wool before putting everything back together with BMW nuts I had left over, at least those won't just crumble away after a few years.


The old gasket clearly has had it. I wouldn't be suprised if whoever took the exhaust apart before just reused the old one, which was flat as a pancake. I'm surprised it was sealing anything at all. No clue if you are supposed to use sealant additionally to this type gasket but I assumed no.

Didn't take a photo of everything back together so have this picture of the flexpipe lol.


All done. No noticeable blow anymore, however I feel like the engine is still louder underneath there than it should be. If there really is a leak that would mean the rear exhaust manifold has to come off, which most likely is impossible without dropping the engine. So lets just assume everything is perfectly fine and enjoy the sound of the busso:

You won't hear much of it in this vid but the backbox definitely is aftermarket. It sounds great but I'll see if it gets annoying over time. Alternator and power steering hose next.

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2 minutes ago, Dave_Q said:

Shouldn't need any sealant with a metal gasket like that, the raised bead on the gasket deforms to make up any difference in the sealing faces and that does the sealing.

Yeah, I thought so. Thanks for the confirmation!

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